Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
Today, I’m sharing something that will revolutionize your snacking world: I’m going to show you a super-easy way to pop popcorn at home.
Because sure, that prepackaged microwavable stuff always starts off tasty. But by the time you’ve polished off your share, your mouth feels, well…different. Bagged popcorn is also pricey, unhealthy, and I’m guessing those waxy bags aren’t doing anything good for the environment.
Now, the stuff I’m going to show you how to make, not only is it super-easy. It’s also:
- AND you can reuse/recycle the bag when you’re done. Nice!
The secret weapon?
A paper lunch bag. Amazing!
Throw a handful of kernels in a brown paper bag, fold the top over a few times, give it a quick spin in your microwave, and, voila! Delicious popcorn.
Below, you’ll find the instructions on how to make a basic bag of popcorn, along with a few tasty seasoning suggestions. Now let’s get to it!
Lunch Bag Popcorn
Makes 4 cups (enough for two hungry snackers)
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
Seasonings (I’ve suggested a few below)
1. Pour 1/4 cup of unpopped popcorn kernels in an unwaxed brown paper bag. Make a 1-inch fold at the top of the bag, and fold over three times (see the photos above!). Microwave on your popcorn setting until the popping has slowed to the point where there are 4-5 seconds of silence between each pop (this takes 2 minutes in our microwave*).
2. Now you’ve got options. You can:
- Add your seasonings to the bag, fold the top over and give it a shake**; or
- Transfer the popped kernels to a bowl, leaving the unpopped kernels in the bag. Close the bag, and give it another go in the microwave to pop the unpopped kernels.
*With the microwave and the kernels we’re using, we can’t get all of the kernels to pop in one go without burning some of the popcorn. So we microwave the bag for 2 minutes, and pour the popped stuff in a bowl, and leave the unpopped kernels in the bag (they always settle to the bottom). Then we close the bag and give the unpopped kernels another go in the microwave. Easy!
**Note that if you add your seasonings directly to the bag, you shouldn’t reuse or recycle the bag.
Homemade popcorn is a healthy snack as long as you don’t go overboard on the butter and salt. Below are some of our favourite healthy-ish seasoning combinations. But everyone takes their popcorn a bit differently, so don’t be afraid to adjust the seasoning level up or down!
Cinnamon + Sugar + Salt (above)
- Drizzle popcorn evenly with 1-1.5 tbsp melted unsalted butter and toss to coat.
- Combine 1 tbsp white sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp fine sea salt in a bowl. Sprinkle evenly over buttered popcorn. Toss again to coat.
- Taste and season with more sugar or salt as you wish!
Olive Oil + Sea Salt
- Drizzle popcorn with 1-1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with a few large pinches of good, fine sea salt and toss to coat
- Taste and add more salt until it’s to your liking.
- Flavoured oils: swap butter or olive oil for something more adventurous, like chili, garlic, nut, or coconut oil!
- Dry spices: experiment with things like chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, wasabi powder, curry powder, cayenne - anything, really! Start with just a little bit, and keep sprinkling, tossing and tasting until you’ve found the flavour you’re looking for. Add a sprinkle or two of salt along the way.
- Sweet stuff: try a flavoured sugar or a mixture made from cocoa powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt (and a pinch of cayenne too, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!).